Feminist, Americanah, Nigerian, Christian, Mother, Wife, Professional, Slay Queen, Woke, if you’re female in the 21st century there are a million ideas like warring ingredients trying to define what your life will be. What are you going to do? What many women don’t realize is that they abandon one half of the yellow sun for the other, in the end you’re still burning with the dissatisfaction of being someone else’s definition of a woman. Society said you belong in the kitchen, feminists say you belong anywhere but the kitchen. But ultimately, it’s just a bunch of people trying to tell you what to do. Most recently, Chimamanda.
The truth is Chimamanda’s interview with Hillary Clinton has been sensationalized. The prominent writer cum feminist didn’t mean it in the bitter, twisted way that many Nigerians rendered on Twitter on Tuesday. Chimamanda simply wondered if Hillary was forced to write out her twitter account like that. If Clinton was pressured to pander to society’s assumption that the ultimate thing a woman should be is wife. Here we state unequivocally that such an assumption is not in any way Biblical. And additionally, Hillary laughing and saying she will take it down, is the exact same Christian sentiment of not wanting to be seen eating meat, lest the weaker man fall. There is nothing wrong with defining yourself as Wife, but if it will give the many women looking up to you the impression that this is the ultimate purpose of a woman, then you owe it to them not to allow it.
That being said, some people on the other side of this argument (what they believe to be Chimamanda’s side) also sensationalized Chimamanda’s words to mean that a woman should never define herself as wife, particularly when she has other things to her credit. This view is understandable, when you’ve been so oppressed by a thing, the push back often goes into the other extreme. It’s like you’ve been burned, and now in seeking out the cold, you don’t mind freezing to death.
But housewives are not failures, women who define success as a healthy thriving marriage are not weak or unambitious. Success is achieving what you set out to do, whatever that is. Becoming CEO of a Fortune 500 whilst divorced would always mean failure to a woman who aspired to be a great mother and wife. It doesn’t mean being CEO is bad, it just means you have your own unique desires that should be respected. Jesus came to restore your freedom, to have life and life more abundantly. Seize your freedom.
So what do you do? You think about the Bible but you can’t help but remember how religion was and is used to propagate patriarchy (the rule of men). The truth is, religion was also used to propagate slavery, terrorism, wars, colonialism and an endless list of evils. But all you have to do is read the first 7 chapters of the New Testament to realize that all these things, like Feminism were mans twisted interpretation of the Bible, and not God’s.
Our challenge to you today is that you open the word of God and see for yourself. Would you rather be influenced by the fallible and imperfect man, whether he stands behind the pulpit at church, or a New York Times Best selling book? We are all Kambilis, and the Feminists, and the Catholics, and the Charismatics, and the Atheists, and all the other ists in the world, are potentially abusive fathers who wish to dictate to us who we are, and what we should be doing, and despite having good intentions, they are all of them subject to human error. The word of God, not the man of God should be the ultimate authority in your life.
Once again, balance must be established. You might read the above and say to yourself, there’s no need to go to church. Nor is there any need to submit to the guidance and counsel of those well versed in the word. But that’s a lazy cop out. If you read the Bible in Spirit and Truth and your conclusions are not mostly uniform with what the rest of the body of Christ then you’d be in some trouble. You need people around, because you yourself are subject to human error and require checks and balances not to be an oppressor to yourself.
If you sit down and think about it you will find that at the heart of every human conflict we face in the 21st century is the same as the Law vs Grace argument. There are extremes on both sides, but at the center is a balance that rightfully divides the word of God. People like to use words like ‘bigotry’, ‘misogyny’, ‘sexist’ and even racist to shut down their opposition what they don’t realize is, by doing this, by shutting down dissenting voices , they are perpetuating the very evils that they ascribe to others. Everybody is a little wrong, everybody is a little right, but only God is good, and true.
So read your Bible young Christian woman (you are not a #LazyNigerianYouth) and compare your notes with the prevailing sentiment amongst respectable Christian leaders. We expect that you will conclude that God made you equal to the man, but also empowered you with a unique skill set to make you a superior nurturer, within and without a relationship. In marriage you are not a doormat to be stepped over, but an active contributor to the partnership, an assistant who submits, but not to the tyranny of a man, but rather the servant leadership as exemplified by Christ. But don’t take our word for it, find out for yourself.